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December Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 5,000, to 234,000 in the period August to October 2010, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 5,000, to 234,000 in the period August to October 2010, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.7 per cent, above the UK average unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 17,000 over the three months to August to October 2010. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,472,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:

“It is encouraging to see the number of Scots in employment rose and those unemployed fell over the last three months. However, we still face challenges as we can see more people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in today’s figures.

“Returning the economy to sustainable economic growth is the Government’s overriding priority. We have done a lot already but will continue to work hard to secure a healthy economic recovery throughout this Parliament, setting the conditions to foster sustainable and balanced economic growth.

“Private sector growth is necessary to create the long-lasting jobs we need and we will work to create the best business environment for the private sector to succeed, through government initiatives such as the Growth Review.”

Headline Statistics for the August - October 2010 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 17,000 over the quarter, and fell by 40,000 over the year to stand at 2,472,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points over the quarter to 70.8 per cent. The rate is just above the UK average of 70.6 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 5,000 over the quarter.  The level now stands at 234,000.
  • At 8.7 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is higher than the UK figure of 7.9 per cent.
  • Economic Activity level increased by 11,000 over the quarter and now stands at  2,706,000. The Economic Activity rate rose over the quarter, and stands at 77.7 per cent.
  • In November 2010, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) was 135,600.  This represents an increase of 300 over the month and is the fifth increase since the beginning of the year.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from August - October 2010 was 2,472,000.  Employment was up by 17,000 compared to the previous three months and down by 40,000 compared to the same period last year. The employment rate increased by 0.3 per cent over the quarter, and fell 1.4 per cent over the year, to 70.8 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is just above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 5,000 over the quarter August - October 2010, to 234,000.  The level was up 45,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.2 p.p. from the previous quarter to 8.7 per cent, which is up 1.6 p.p. over the year.

Claimant Count

The claimant count in Scotland, based on the seasonally adjusted number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), increased by 300 from October, to 135,600 in November 2010.  The level is up by 100 on November 2009.  The claimant count rate is unchanged over the month at 4.9 per cent, and unchanged over the year.

Economic Activity

The number of economically active (defined as those in employment or ILO unemployed, seasonally adjusted) in Scotland in the August - October 2010 quarter was 2,706,000.  This was up 11,000 on the previous quarter, and up 5,000 on the same point a year ago.  Among those aged 16-64, the economic activity rate was 77.7 per cent, up 0.2 p.p. on the previous quarter, and down 0.1 p.p. over the year.

To access the data from the ONS site, click on the following link:

Select the link “Regional Monthly Data - December 2010” which will prompt you to unzip a folder of Excel files. Then select the file “LMSScot0910” to access the data.

Published 15 December 2010